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Moving to Argentina?

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Living in Argentina, from Italy

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Argentina at a Glance

Moving to Argentina

When expats think of moving to Argentina, a few different things usually come to mind: Tango, soccer, the first South American pope. That is not all there is to Argentina, however. Read on to find useful information on your new home, from its people and geography to visa requirements for expats.

European emigrants have been moving to Argentina ever since Spanish colonial rule in South America. As a typical “immigration nation,” it originally attracted just the Spanish, but in the 19th century Italian migrants started arriving too. In the years between 1870 and 1930, estimates suggest that 7 million people from mostly Spain and Italy made the move to Argentina.

An Ethnically Diverse, Cosmopolitan Nation

Nowadays, Argentines of Spanish or Italian descent make up the biggest groups among the populace, and only 3% of the population identify as Amerindians or mestizos (mixed-race). The indigenous people, mostly Mapuche and Guaraní, live in Argentina’s rural areas.

Most of the population lives in the cities (92.5% as of 2011), and this figure is expected to rise to 92.2% by 2020. While the majority of Argentines are indeed urbanites of European descent, you will also find Japanese communities, Chinese and Korean immigrants, and a significant number of Middle-Eastern people from Syria and Lebanon, who also decided to move to Argentina.

As such, it is no wonder that the country is considered a bit of a cosmopolitan nation. While Spanish is the official language, Italian, English, German, French, and many indigenous languages are spoken in Argentina as well. Native inhabitants in the Andes speak Quechua, and the various immigrants brought their own languages with them.

From Antarctica to the Atlantic

Argentina is an immense nation second in size only to Brazil in Latin America, and the eighth largest country in the world. Expats, however, are most likely to be moving to Argentina’s urban centers, particularly the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, where it is estimated that just under 20 million people live as of 2016. . Still, many are fascinated by the country’s amazing geography and biodiversity.

If you plan to explore the country after your move to Argentina, you are bound to be astonished at its sheer size and variety as well. Stretching about 3,544 kilometers from north to south and 1,025 from east to west, Argentina ranges from the subtropics to Antarctica, from the peaks of the Andes to the Atlantic coast.

Progressing Politics and a Growing Economy

Unfortunately, in recent decades, Argentina has not exactly been most famous for its natural beauty or economic wealth. The country’s political situation has rather been plagued by internal unrest. In the late 1970s, this resulted in eight years of oppressive military rule. As such, fewer people contemplated moving to Argentina.

In 1983, however, democratic rule was finally reestablished, as the Argentine government made commendable efforts to bring order to the nation. Nevertheless, the late 1990s and early 2000s were marked by economic problems and financial panic, which once again led to widespread public protests.

The recent disputes between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falklands has led to some violent protests, so expats are advised to avoid these demonstrations when possible.

Fortunately, moving to Argentina is an option that has once more become attractive to expats. When the nation celebrated the bicentennial of its independence in 2010, its economy was definitely on the rebound. This positive trend of increased trade and investment seems to have continued in the following years as well. Granted, the GDP growth rate has fluctuated, reaching an all-time high of 4.8% in 2010, but the economic growth is definitely moving in the right direction at 2,4% in 2015.

Economic and political troubles notwithstanding, expatriates can look forward to a diverse and exciting country when moving to Argentina.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

InterNations Expat Magazine